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Nunavut Environment Week

03 June 2018 to 09 June 2018 

Nunaut Environment Week 7 Day Challenge

Challenge #1 : Strolling Sunday  #StrollingSunday

The first theme of Environment Week is #StrollingSunday!

Are you feeling down? Getting outside can significantly improve your mood. In Nunavut, we are fortunate to have easy access to an extraordinary backyard. All across Nunavut, national and territorial parks offer places to escape, places for reflection, places of power, and places that celebrate our cultural and natural heritage. For more information about the parks and special places near you visit: and  

Today, get off the grid and get onto the land! What better way to celebrate Environment Week than to spend a little time outside and enjoy Nunavut’s magnificent landscapes and extraordinary wildlife! How will you get outside and enjoy Strolling Sunday? Simply submit a photo of you taking part in the challenge, or answer the weekly trivia questions for a chance to win great prizes. Photos can be tweeted using #NEW18 #StrollingSunday, and trivia answers can be written in the comments section on the GN Facebook page, or emailed to

Challenge #2: Nunavut Wildlife is Everywhere! #NUWIE

People usually think of wildlife as big animals like tutktu (caribou) or nanuk (polar bears). But in reality, wildlife includes all animals that have not been domesticated by humans. Domesticated animals are ones that have been tamed, made captive and bred for special purposes, like dogs. Wild animals are all the rest. Wildlife includes the largest animals such as whales and polar bears, to the smallest of organisms, even those that can be seen only by a microscope. Spiders, insects, fish birds and mammals may all be considered wildlife. Wildlife can be found all around us. Even when we think we can see or hear no animals at all – they still exist somewhere around us, Nunavummiut are never really alone in an environment. Some form of wildlife is always nearby.

IQ Fun Facts

Inuit have always had a close relationship with their environment, living in harmony with the land that they depend on for survival. “The land” includes the earth, water, wind, sky as well as plants and animals.

Challenge #3: Anti-Littering #WASTEOUTOFPLACE

Simply put, litter is ‘waste out of place’. Instead of being placed in a garbage can or waste container, litter is what’s left on the ground, school field or in the park. It comes from different sources and different people. Litter can be small like a gum wrapper, or large like a mattress or scraps of metal. People can litter intentionally, like a driver throwing out a cigarette, or unintentionally, such as garbage accidentally being blown out of a truck.

Litter can be harmful to people, animals and the environment. It can be a danger to peoples’ health, it can be a fire hazard and it can endanger or even kill wildlife, while also causing serious damage to waterways.

We all need to do our part to make sure we throw garbage away appropriately and work together to keep our Nunavut communities clean!

IQ Fun Fact

In the past, one of the unwritten rules was to get just enough meat to last you for the year so that the meat would not be wasted. If Elders decided that there was enough meat to last a whole year, they would tell people “that’s enough”. That way, there would not be bones littered on the ground and the land and the air would be clean at all times.

Challenge #4: Nunavut Energy Use and Conservation #NEUC

Nunavut depends on imported fossil fuels for our energy needs. In 2012-2013, the territory imported 180 million liters of fossil fuel. These fossil fuels are burned to create electricity, heat, and are used for transportation. As we burn those fossil fuels, greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as carbon dioxide and methane, are released into the atmosphere. The more energy we use, the more fossil fuels we burn, and the more GHGs are produced and released into the atmosphere. By reducing the amount of energy we use, we can reduce the amount of pollutants that are released into the environment.

Conserving energy is not only good for the environment; it is also good for your bank account. By reducing your energy consumption, you can lower the cost of your heating, electricity and fuel bills. It is not difficult to reduce your energy consumption: it can be as easy as turning off the light when you leave the room, turning off your computer at the end of the day or unplugging electronic devices that are seldom used. For more energy saving ideas, go to:

IQ Fun Fact

In the past, when Inuit went on long journeys, it would be the woman’s job to light the qulliq once the iglu had been built. She would make the flames large to melt snow for water and to heat the iglu faster. Once it was time for bed, she would make the flames smaller to save more fuel. How will you save energy today?

Challenge #5: Climate Change in Nunavut #CCNU

Climate change happens when long-term weather patterns are altered. Global warming is one way to measure climate change, which is a rise in the average global temperature. We now know that human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels is rapidly warming the Earth, causing climate change all around the world.

The effects of climate change are already being felt in the Arctic through warmer temperatures, the loss of sea ice and the melting of permafrost. Climate change affects Nunavut wildlife, as the rapidly changing environment makes it hard for species to adapt. Climate change also affects Nunavummiut in several ways. For example, the thawing of permafrost is making some roads and buildings unstable in Nunavut. In addition, the change in, or loss of sea ice, means more dangerous conditions for hunters who have relied on a steady climate for generations.

IQ Fun Fact

The cycle of seasons is reflected in the seasonal activities of Inuit. Traditional stories reflect the changes seen in the seasons, especially hunting stories. Traditionally, everyone had different roles or jobs depending on each season, with most of the work spent on preparing for the season to come.

Challenge #6: World Oceans Day #WorldOceansDay #NEW18

World Oceans Day occurs annually on June 8, by the United Nations at the request of Canada. The purpose of World Oceans Day is to inform and educate people about the importance of protecting our global waterways, watersheds, ocean waters and habitat. Did you know everyone in the world lives on a watershed? Or that oceans generate 80% of our oxygen?

This year’s #WorldOceansDay theme is preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean. We encourage Nunavummiut to take action to preserve, conserve and protect our waters.

IQ Fun Fact

Tides in the north vary from location to location. The tides are higher during or right after the new or full moon. This is called spring tide in English and in Inuktitut, ᐱᑐᕐᓂᖅ (piturniq). Travelers are asked to be aware of rivers, lakes and sea ice conditions during winter time, because regardless of weather, there may be water overflow on the edges of these water systems. Some Elders enjoy drinking the overflow water from the rivers.

Challenge #7: Secondhand Saturday #SecondhandSaturday

Spring is in the air! It’s a great time to clean out your closets and cupboards. But don’t send all of those old items to the landfill just yet. Give your old and used items a second life! Repurpose an old yogurt container into storage for paperclips or leftovers. Invite your friends over for a clothing swap. Make that old sweater into a new pair of mitts. How will you get creative this Secondhand Saturday?

IQ Fun Fact

When items like wood were scarce, people used traditional knowledge and ingenuity to find a solution. If only small pieces of wood or bone could be found, then these pieces were mended together using braided sinew or strands of baleen. How will you show your ingenuity and make something new out of something old today?

Peter Polanowski